Story written and reported by Tony Schinella of Concord, NH Patch.
Rep. Peter King, weighed in on Republican strategy in 2014 and 2016, while taking jabs at the president in New Hampshire Monday night.The Seaford Republican and potential 2016 presidential candidate, who has been in the state a few times in the last year, told attendees at a fundraiser the trip to the Granite State was a great opportunity to meet with activists in the party.
King said he believed Republicans would hold the House in 2014 and said the focus should be on the U.S. Senate in an effort to hold the line on the president’s agenda. He expressed disappointment in President Barack Obama “for constantly apologizing for American power” and stated that he “wasn’t telling the truth” on issues like the rollout of the Affordable Care Act.
“The plan itself is bad enough,” he said. “The program itself is bad enough. But to have a president mislead the American people the way he did is absolutely inexcusable.”King called on Republicans to “reconnect” with the “rank-and-file people,” noting that “the media and the so-called elites” would not be supporting Republicans in the future.
“We have to not be afraid to take tough positions,” he said, “and not go out of our way to start trouble … we have to do what we have to do. We have to reconnect with the American people.”
King said Republicans needed to promote holding the line on taxes, being fiscally responsible, and standing by the military and being prepared. He also said veterans and returning service men and woman needed to be ensured that they would get the care they were entitled to and deserved.
King, who sits on both the Homeland Security and Intelligence committees, said the United States was, “in many ways,” in graver danger to terrorist threats than before Sept. 11. He said Al Qaida had “morphed and metastasized and we have now have eight or nine different components around the world” as well as “lone wolves” in the United States who are part of the international movement to target this country. Since Sept. 11, 15 attacks have been stopped in New York alone, he said.
“I see the threats from the inside out and the outside in,” he said of his work on the committees, “and this is a constant level of danger we are at.”
On the budget, King said the government needed to stay open and Republicans needed to keep from being “sidetracked.” Instead, he suggested fighting for conservative principles, “as hard as we can.” King also praised Kelly Ayotte, R-NH, for all her work in the Senate.
King also announced the formation of a new political action committee called American Leadership Now, to promote Republican leadership and to “undo the damage we’ve endured during the years of the Obama Administration.”
Before his talk with Republicans, King said he was enjoying his trips to the state and if he decides to run for the Republican nomination for president, he would make a formal announcement in 12 to 18 months.
When asked what made him different than every other Representative to Congress who has been unable to make the jump to the White House, King said his work on keeping the nation safe, appearances on cable television, which has allowed him to connect with millions of Americans directly, would help. He added that coming from a diverse Congressional district and being able to build coalitions with social conservatives, organized labor, and minorities, as he had done in his House races, would assist him in winning.